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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 85,723

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Lawsuit claims Idaho's 'physicians-only' abortion law is unconstitutional

TWIN FALLS — A legal challenge to an Idaho law limiting who can perform abortions could make abortion services more accessible for Magic Valley residents if it is successful, proponents say.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 14 by Planned Parenthood and the Seattle-based advocacy group Legal Voice, argues that Idaho’s law requiring abortions to be performed by a licensed physician is unconstitutional.

The suit points to research demonstrating that advanced practice clinicians — a class of medical professional that includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives — are medically qualified to “safely and effectively” provide abortion care as well.

Idaho is one of 42 states with such a requirement, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute. It’s the second state to have the law challenged in court after Planned Parenthood filed a similar lawsuit in Maine in 2017.

Read more: https://magicvalley.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/lawsuit-claims-idaho-s-physicians-only-abortion-law-is-unconstitutional/article_08aac1e4-179c-5b2c-8af7-f8ef0fd25330.html

District of Despair: On a Montana Reservation, Schools Favor Whites Over Native Americans

The faint scars on Ruth Fourstar’s arms testify to a difficult life on Fort Peck Indian Reservation — the physical and emotional abuse at home, the bullying at school, the self-harm that rotated her through mental health facilities and plunged her from the honor roll to a remedial program.

A diploma from Wolf Point High School could be the teenager’s ticket out of this isolated prairie town. Instead, she sees her school as a dead end.

The tutoring she was promised to get her back on track didn’t materialize. An agreement with the high school principal to let her apply credits earned in summer courses toward graduation fell through. The special education plan that the school district developed for her, supposedly to help her catch up, instead laid out how she should be disciplined. Her family fears that she will inflict the pain of not graduating on herself.

“I’m just there,” the 17-year-old said. “I feel invisible.”

Ruth’s despondency is shared by Native students in Wolf Point and across the nation. Often ignored in the national conversation about the public school achievement gap, they post some of the worst academic outcomes of any demographic group, a disparity exacerbated by decades of discrimination, according to federal reports. The population is also among the most at-risk: Underachievement and limited emotional support at school can contribute to a number of negative outcomes for Native youth, even suicide. Among people ages 18 to 24, Native Americans have the highest rate of suicide in the nation: 23 per 100,000, compared with 15 per 100,000 among white youths.

Read more: https://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/district-of-despair-on-a-montana-reservation-schools-favor-whites-over-native-americans/Content?oid=16526143

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert proposes big boost for public defender system

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert wants to set aside an extra $5 million next year to ensure Utahns' right to an attorney even if they can't afford one.

The potential boost to Utah's public defender system is "really a measured, calculated amount we need in this third year," said Joanna Landau, director of the Indigent Defense Commission.

The governor's proposal, part of a larger budget plan he unveiled earlier this month, would expand the commission's bandwidth by about four times. Its current ongoing yearly budget is $1.3 million.

The group was created two years ago and works with several Utah cities and counties to help provide attorneys to those who can't afford them. It also offers training and other resources.

Read more: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900048394/utah-gov-gary-herbert-proposes-big-boost-for-public-defender-system.html

Proposed Utah legislation would criminalize the use of fake urine and other methods for duping a

Proposed Utah legislation would criminalize the use of fake urine and other methods for duping a drug test

Utahns could face a misdemeanor for using fake urine, someone else’s urine or their own stored urine to beat an alcohol or drug-screening test under legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy.

The bill would also prohibit the sale and distribution of synthetic urines and adulterant products that are added to urine to dilute or alter a person’s test sample.

“If they’re faking it," Eliason said, “then they’re fooling themselves and the public at large.”

Eliason said he was prompted to run the bill after reading about similar efforts in other states — such as Mississippi’s so-called “Urine Trouble” bill — and after researching Utah’s current statutes on defrauding drug tests. While a person can face professional or administrative penalties for a false urine sample, Eliason said, there’s currently no legal consequence for attempting to defraud the tests.

Read more: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/12/29/proposed-utah-legislation/

Nevada high court rejects petition from state retirement system

The Nevada Supreme Court denied a request to rehear a decision that compelled the state retirement system to disclose the benefits of employees in a high-profile public records case that began three years ago.

In a majority opinion on Monday, four justices rejected the petition from the Public Employees Retirement System, court records show. Two justices — James Hardesty and Lidia Stiglich — dissented, while Justice Ron Parraguirre recused himself.

The court in October ruled 4-3 in favor of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which filed a public-records request in 2015 seeking retiree names, salaries, dates of retirement, years of service and cost-of-living increases so the information could be published on TransparentNevada.com.

The retirement system filed a petition on Nov. 6 for the court to rehear the case, arguing that the October opinion did not “provide adequate guidance” to public agencies when responding to public-records requests, court records show.

Read more: https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/nevada-high-court-rejects-petition-from-state-retirement-system-1560909/

Bangladesh votes as iron-lady PM seeks 3rd straight term

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Voting was underway Sunday in Bangladesh's contentious parliamentary elections, seen as a referendum on what critics call Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's increasingly authoritarian rule, amid complaints from both ruling party and opposition activists of attacks on supporters and candidates.

Hasina's main rival is former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, deemed ineligible by a court from running for office because she is in prison for corruption.

The two women have been in and out of power — and prison — for decades.

In Zia's absence, opposition parties have formed a coalition led by Kamal Hossain, an 82-year-old Oxford-educated lawyer and former member of Hasina's Awami League party.

Read more: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/dec/30/bangladesh-votes-as-iron-lady-pm-seeks-3rd-straigh/

Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak marries finance Kathy Ong

Nevada Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak has announced that he and fiancee Kathy Ong married on Friday in Las Vegas.

The governor-elect said in a statement that he and Ong married at Guardian Angel Cathedral and that he his wife "will make Nevada proud" as first lady.

Sisolak is a Clark County commissioner and a Democrat who will take office as governor in January after defeating Republic Adam Laxalt in the November general election.

Sisolak's statement said Ong will take his name. She is an Ely native and a Las Vegas financial consultant. The couple announced their engagement in November.

Read more: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/dec/29/gov-elect-steve-sisolak-marries-finance-kathy-ong/

Nevada Supreme Court seeks judicial pay raises

The Nevada Supreme Court is asking lawmakers to give Nevada's judges their first pay raise in a decade.

AB46, which was requested by the court in September and pre-filed Nov. 16, would add $30,000 a year the base pay received by Supreme Court, Appellate Court and District Court judges statewide.

Because of the vast differences between the wealth of the different counties, those salaries are paid by the state to equalize the salaries of district judges.

However, because the constitution prohibits raising — or lowering — the salaries of elected officials during their term, all current sitting judges would have to wait until they win re-election before they would get the proposed raises.

Read more: https://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/government/nevada-supreme-court-seeks-judicial-pay-raises/

Indy Q&A: Lt. Gov.-elect Kate Marshall on goals, the economy and legislative priorities

This is not Lt. Gov.-elect Kate Marshall’s first rodeo.

From 2007 to 2015, Marshall, a Democrat, served as the state’s treasurer under two Republican governors. As Marshall transitions to her new role as lieutenant governor, many of her goals continue to focus on money and the economy. These goals align with the duties of the lieutenant governor, who sits on the state’s tourism, transportation and economic development boards.

In an interview last week with The Nevada Independent, Marshall said she plans to push legislation next year that would designate a small business advocate and a state-backed retirement savings program for private sector workers, about 57 percent of whom aren’t offered a plan by their employers.

“I’m very, very excited for what’s coming and I’m very, very excited for where Nevada is,” Marshall said during the interview in Reno. “When I was treasurer, I used to ask kids all the time, ‘What’s the post-high school plan?’ And so with Nevada, [state officials] recognized they needed a post-recession plan and they’re moving forward. They’re not stuck and that’s very exciting.”

Read more: https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/indy-qa-lt-gov-elect-kate-marshall-talks-her-goals-the-economy-and-legislative-priorities

Former Insys Therapeutics CEO to plead guilty in opioid kickback scheme case

BOSTON (AP) — The former CEO of a company that produces a highly addictive fentanyl spray has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a scheme to pay kickbacks to doctors to boost prescriptions of the drug.

Former Insys Therapeutics CEO Michael Babich's guilty plea agreement was revealed by prosecutors in court documents filed this week.

Babich was among several executives of the Arizona-based company charged in the closely-watched case scheduled to go to trial next month. Insys founder John Kapoor and several others have pleaded not guilty.

They're charged with bribing doctors into prescribing large amounts of the powerful medication meant for cancer patients with severe pain.

Read more: https://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/former-ceo-to-plead-guilty-in-opioid-kickback-scheme-case/article_1ed37adc-ebcb-5e1d-bf37-4f5241046ad1.html
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